Doggy dental care
Our dog’s teeth need routine dental care, just like we do, to remain healthy and strong. One good habit we need to get into is brushing our dog’s teeth regularly. Pet dental care can prevent a lot of problems down the road.
Why do you need to care for your dog’s teeth?
Gum disease is a health issue that many older dogs suffer from. Vets estimate that up to 85% of dogs older than 5 years suffer from gum disease. It is a condition that starts out very minor, but can become quite severe over time.
Food particles and bacteria gather along the gum line. Unless removed by routine brushing, this matter will create plaque deposits. If left undisturbed, plaque will eventually harden into tartar, which can irritate and inflame gum tissue. As the gums become swollen, they will pull away from the teeth, forming small gaps where more bacteria can take hold making the disease worse.
If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth decay and loss, abscesses, and infections. The bacteria can penetrate the body at the gum line and spread throughout the body, causing damage to the heart, liver, brain, and other organs.
How do you brush your dogs teeth?
You need a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste to get started with brushing your dogs teeth. You can find toothbrushes made especially for dogs. You can buy toothpaste made for dogs also, in a variety of flavors. We prefer vanilla or oil of oregano toothpaste.They will not only do a great job at cleaning the teeth but will also give doggies a fresh vanilla or minty breath you are sure to love. Never use human toothpaste on dogs as it can cause serious stomach upset.
The basic brushing process goes like this:
- Wet toothbrush first
- Put a small pea size amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush.
- Lift the dogs upper lip from the side and brush the outside of the teeth, being sure to clean the gums simultaneously.
- Do the same on the lower jaw.
- Hold the dog’s mouth open and brush the insides and tops of the teeth, being sure to clean the gums at the same time. Do it on the top and bottom.
- Rewards are always helpful so make sure you use some treats. Every time your dog allows you to brush one section of the mouth reward him with a small treat.
Getting your dog comfortable with the brushing process requires a ton of patience. It is something that will need to be introduced gradually. Come by The Dog Market if you would like us to show you how to do it. Our staff will be very happy to demonstrate on your own dog and coach you while you try, allowing you to learn the best way to brush your dog’s teeth.
How often to brush the teeth is a question that always comes up. Well, as much as we would like to say that everyday is ideal, we know it may not be realistic. With this in mind we recommend doing it 2-3 times a week in conjunction with other products that will contribute to good oral hygiene.
What else should you do about pet dental care?
Certain toys and treats are great for promoting healthy teeth in dogs. They should not replace the brushing but they certainly help in keeping plaque and tartar away, specially from the back molars. Giving your dog a healthy dental treat like Greenies, Oregapet treats, or Merrick dental treats, on a regular basis will keep plaque and tartar build-up at bay. Marrow bones and other bones specially if raw are great for the same purpose. A hard chew toy like a Nylabone or Tasty Bone is another option that can keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy.
Other products like water additives and dental sprays are also an option for clean teeth. Slurp and Fresh eliminates bad breath and reduces plaque and tartar. It works in the mouth as they drink water and is 100% safe to ingest being healthy for their complete digestive tract. Simply mix every day with your dog’s drinking water. Dental sprays can be sprayed directly in the dog’s mouth to kill some of the bacteria and keep plaque from forming. Oregapet dental spray is our favorite; containing oil of oregano that is completely safe for pets in the right formulation, is antiseptic and antibacterial.
If you need a good place for all your dog’s dental care needs, stop by or contact us today. We carry a vast selection of amazing products, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental treats and chew toys that will make your life much easier when it comes to your dog’s oral care.